Pineapple Yogurt Makeover
There is no question about it. I am a sucker for commercials telling me how healthy a product is. The next time I'm in the store I run to these things to check out how great they are and how awesome they will make my life. I have done this a few times with the new Greek yogurt fad. However, when I roll the container over to check out the nutritional facts, the delusions of healthy snacks tend to go down the tube. Some vareties are great for you but taste...bad. Others sound very tasty but have only a few nutritional difference from ice cream.
Part of the sensation over Greek yogurt is its thick and creamy texture. Not to mention it has twice the protein of regular yogurt. Both of these benefits come from the straining process. Yogurt is made from milk treated with natural bacteria and cultures. Once it curdles, some of the liquid is strained off. Many Eastern cultures have enjoyed a thicker version of our regular yogurt for centuries. So how can we experience the best of Greek yogurt with the usual sugary taste we have accustomed ourselves to? Make it yourself, silly! It is a few steps, but all of them are easy. Seriously, just try it once.
1 2lb container of plain, non fat yogurt
1/2 cup pineapple juice concentrate
1 teaspoon vanilla
First, make sure the yogurt is fresh. If it is not, it will affect the taste and the active cultures in it. Also make sure all the tools you will be using are very, very clean.
Take a sieve and place it over a large bowl. You need the strainer to sit above the bottom of the bowl at least an inch.
Place 1 large paper towel piece in the strainer. it should make about 1 layer. Make sure it covers the whole sieve or else the yogurt will leak out. Ewwwwwwww.
Gently put all of the yogurt into the strainer. Cover this with plastic wrap tightly and leave it in the refrigerator at least over night. I like to do this for about 24 hours.
Ta-da! This is what the yogurt should look like when it is done. If you want a thicker yogurt, keep it over the sieve for a bit longer. Just make sure it stays covered to avoid spoiling the cultures. You could end the process here and use this in savory dishes or dips. I would consider this to still be in the "plain and icky" phase. Let's fix that!
Add in 1/2 cup (or less depending on your preferences) of pineapple juice concentrate that has been thawed as well as the 1 teaspoon of vanilla. I like to stir this up and let it hang out in the fridge for a while.Juice concentrates are a great choice for this since they are really intense and flavorful. Not to mention all the sweetness is from 100% juice. You could also choose apple, grape, orange or whatever flavor you like.
I like this just as is, sprinkled with granola or even in a parfait. Come back on Thursday to see my Tropical Fruit Parfait!